Review – Kong of Skull Island #1 (BOOM! Studios)


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Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: James Asmus
Artist: Carlos Magno
Release Date:  July 13th, 2016

I don’t have a huge history with the King Kong franchise. I’m a big fan of the Peter Jackson movie (as well as it’s video game) and the Jessica Lange one is cheesy fun, but those are my only encounters with Kong. This isn’t to say that I haven’t always been interested in the Kong lore, because I am. I think that there are a lot of cool ideas to play around with in this world, but not many have. That’s what makes Kong an ideal candidate for the comic book treatment, much like Godzilla who just wrapped up his own mini series with Godzilla: Oblivion. So does this book do justice to the Kong lore? Let’s take a look.

As generic as this book is, the story is a little hard to explain. The basis of it is pretty simple: warring tribes having to come together for the greater good, political intrigue and whatnot ensues. The confusing part is the locations and the tribes and the characters. There isn’t a whole lot of backstory given, so you feel kind of lost. It’s like starting a new TV show with episode 3. This creates a disconnect right off the bat, so it makes it hard to get invested in the story and its characters.

It’s a shame because I actually like the idea of digging into the Kong lore by creating these tribes and how the Kong are integrated into their society, It’s interesting in concept, but the execution is just generic warring tribe drama with lame motivations and bland character interaction.

This book has a lot of wasted potential, but I’ll admit that they hooked me with those final pages. When we finally get to Skull Island, everything during that sequence is really cool and moody. It created the ominous atmosphere of Skull Island while still making it new and interesting. It’s just too bad that the book basically ends right there. For a book I was about to give up on, that stinger caught my interest.

At the end of the day, is this book a total waste of time? No, not really. There are interesting ideas and a pretty cool set up for future issues, but it’s just not enough to make it anything special. It may not be a waste of your time, but is it worth your money? Is it worth going out of your way to pick up? No, not really. It’s a lot of wasted potential, but thankfully this is only the first issue and they have 5 more to flesh out the world and story. Hopefully they can improve along the way and flesh out this lore to it’s full potential, because there really is potential for an interesting series here. I just hope that the 6-issue restraint isn’t forcing them to rush a story that needs more room to breath. Only time will tell where this series will go, and I’ll certainly be picking up next month’s issue, but as of right now this isn’t exactly a “Must Read” title.

Rating: 2/5.

MikeThe writer of this piece was: Mike Annernio
Mike Tweets from @MikeAnnerino

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